Spring 2025 Commencement Ceremonies

For Spring 2025, the Graduate College commencement ceremonies will be held on separate days. The masters commencement ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 15th, at 7pm in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The doctoral commencement ceremony will be held on Friday, May 16th, at 7pm in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The RSVP process for Spring 2025 will not begin until early 2025.


Commencement Student Speaker Selection

The Graduate College is seeking nominations for a student speaker for both the Spring 2024 doctoral and masters commencement ceremonies. While graduating students can nominate themselves, as well as fellow graduating students, nominations can also be submitted by university faculty or staff. The nomination form, found here, is now open and must include a resume/CV, a video speech sample, and a letter of support from a faculty or staff member explaining why they feel the nominee would be a positive and compelling commencement speaker and outstanding representative of their class. Incomplete applications will not be considered. In order to be considered, nominations must be submitted by 5pm on Monday, March 4th. We anticipate selecting speakers no later than Monday, March 18th. Final versions of speeches must be submitted to the Graduate College by Monday, April 15th.


Commencement Participation Request

To be eligible to participate in Graduate College commencement ceremonies, students must have a current degree application on file for the semester in which they plan to participate in commencement. For example, fall degree applicants can participate in fall ceremonies and spring degree applicants can participate in spring ceremonies. Students with summer degree applications are permitted to participate in spring or fall ceremonies in the same calendar year as their degree application. 

The Graduate College typically does not allow students to participate in commencement ceremonies at times when they are not eligible except in rare circumstances. Approval by the Associate Dean of Administrative Affairs in the Graduate College is required to participate in a commencement ceremony other than the ceremony students are eligible for based on their degree application. Reasons include:

  • A significant health issue (themselves or immediate family members)
  • Student has left for employment in another country before their assigned ceremony takes place
  • A required clinical rotation (or similar requirement) outside of the state coinciding with the assigned commencement ceremony, such as Clinical or Counseling Psychology, Music Therapy, or MSTP students engaged in medical residency

In the vast majority of approved exception requests, students would be permitted to participate in a ceremony immediately following the assigned ceremony. For example, spring degree applicants would be permitted to participate in the ceremony held the following fall. Early participation is very rarely approved.

Exception forms should be submitted by the student. Submissions need to include a letter of support from the Director of Graduate Studies or the Associate Dean for Graduate Education, as well as a description from the student of the reasons for the exception request. The request form can be found here. Please direct any questions to grad-commencement@uiowa.edu. Forms should be submitted to the Graduate College at least one month before the ceremony, if at all possible, to allow time for a decision to be made.


Commencement Program

All graduates are listed in the program according to the time at which they earned or are expected to earn a degree. Summer and fall graduate names appear in the fall program even if the student is participating in the spring ceremony. Applying for a degree after the degree application deadline may result in the exclusion of the student's name from the commencement program.

Having a directory restriction on the student's academic record may also result in the exclusion of the student's name from the program. Students may check their data restriction settings on the Student Data Restriction page in MyUI.

Digital copies of commencement programs can be accessed here.


Hood Colors

Choosing the correct hood color can be difficult. Below are charts for doctoral and masters students, listing degrees awarded by the Graduate College and their respective hood colors.

Doctoral Degree

Hood Color

Doctor of AudiologyRhoades Blue
Doctor of EducationLight Blue
Doctor of Musical ArtsPink
Doctor of Nursing PracticeApricot
Doctor of PhilosophyDark Blue
Doctor of Physical TherapyTeal

For students earning a PhD in any discipline, regardless of college or department, the hood should be dark blue. Degrees and hood colors not listed above should not be ordered by students participating in a Graduate College commencement ceremony.


Masters Degree

Hood Color

Master of AccountancyDrab
Master of ArtsWhite
Master of Arts in Library & Information ScienceWhite
Master of Arts in TeachingWhite
Master of Computer ScienceGold
Master of Fine ArtsBrown
Master of Health AdministrationSalmon
Master of Physical TherapyTeal
Master of Public AffairsPeacock Blue
Master of Public HealthSalmon
Master of ScienceGold
Master of Science in Business AnalyticsGold
Master of Science in NursingApricot
Master of Social WorkCitron

Students in the College of Education who are earning a masters degree should be ordering a white or gold hood, depending on degree earned. The College of Education does not offer any degrees that utilize a light blue hood at the masters level - these hoods are only for students earning a Doctor of Education.

Regalia can be ordered both in-person at the Iowa Hawk Shop and online. More information can be found here